By Neil Arwin Mercado | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue supporting the Philippine government’s “Build, Build, Build” program under the administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa said this Monday as he met with Marcos Jr. at the president-elect’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City.
“I assured President-elect Marcos of ADB’s strong commitment to supporting his administration’s development priorities,” Asakawa said in a statement.
“ADB is working closely with the government, development partners, and the private sector to support infrastructure investment, including projects under the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program; promote sustainable agriculture development and food security; and invest in Filipinos’ welfare,” he added.
Aside from the infrastructure sector, Asakawa said the ADB is also ready to support the Philippines in addressing climate change as well as programs in the education and health sector.
“As we prepare for our next country partnership for 2024-29, we will be exploring opportunities with the incoming administration’s priorities on climate change action to support a resilient and green economic recovery, climate smart transportation, and continuing investments in education, vocational skills training, employment programs, health promotions, and social protection,” Asakawa said.
Asakawa likewise invited Marcos Jr. to attend ADB’s 55th annual meeting in September as a guest of honor.
“We look forward to working closely with the new administration to ensure the meeting is an effective venue for proactive, solutions-oriented discussion around the key development challenges and opportunities in our region,” Asakawa said.
ADB’s 2021 annual report showed that it extended to the Philippines a total of $2.79 billion in financial assistance last year, the fifth-biggest among its member countries.
Of this amount, $2.23 billion are low-interest loans—the second largest after India’s $4.6-billion.